This Economic Depression Has Left Very Deep Economic Scars All Over America

The last 12 months have been pure hell for the U.S. economy. According to Oxxford Information Technology, approximately 4 million U.S. businesses permanently closed their doors in 2020.  We have never seen that many businesses wiped out in such a short period of time in the entire history of our country.  Meanwhile, we have seen a tsunami of unemployment that has been absolutely unprecedented.  More than 70 million new claims for unemployment benefits have been filed during the pandemic, and the number of new claims each week continues to hover at a level that is about three times as high as we witnessed before the pandemic.  Currently, the Economic Policy Institute is telling us that “25 million American workers are either unemployed, underemployed or have pulled out of the workforce entirely”.  This economic depression has already been extremely painful, and many experts believe that a whole lot more economic pain is still on the horizon.

If you are doing well in this economic environment, you should be very thankful for your blessings, because millions of other Americans are suffering greatly.  One of those Americans that is deeply suffering is named Denitra Pearson

One hundred and forty days have passed since Denitra Pearson lost her job caring for the elderly in their homes. Forty-two days have passed since she, her husband, and children lost all their belongings after a fire engulfed their house on a snowy winter night.

They’re now living in a hotel.

Denitra has six kids to care for, and the only “job” that she has been able to find is low-wage work vaccinating people at a local clinic

Pearson, a New Haven mother of six, has an associate’s degree and two job certificates but only one of the dozens of applications she’s filled out has led anywhere, landing her another low-wage job at a local clinic vaccinating people against COVID-19. Her husband, who was a chef at a nearby university before the pandemic disrupted the college campus, is still looking for work.

This economic depression has pushed millions of formerly middle class Americans into poverty, and for many of them life will never be the same again.

At this point, the Bureau of Labor Statistics says that a whopping 2.4 million Americans have been unemployed for 52 weeks or longer…

Nearly 2.4 million Americans were unemployed 52 weeks or more in March, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

That’s almost double the number in February and is about 1.6 million more people than in March 2020.

Could you imagine being out of work for that long?

Almost one-fourth of all of our unemployed workers have been out of a job for at least 12 months, and one economist that was interviewed by CNBC is calling that fact “pretty breathtaking”

“I think that number is pretty breathtaking, that nearly a quarter of unemployed workers have been unemployed for over a year,” said Heidi Shierholz, director of policy at the Economic Policy Institute and former chief economist at the Department of Labor from 2014 to 2017.

“It really shows that even as the economy is recovering, you have a lot of the same people who have been unemployed throughout this whole damn thing,” she added.

I feel particularly bad for college students that are graduating in this sort of environment.

Many of them went in with such high hopes and dreams, but now the job opportunities that they were promised are not materializing.

College senior Bao Ha will be graduating this year from Macalaster College in Minnesota, but he hasn’t even been able to land an interview even after applying for more than a hundred jobs

The job market is starting to roar back, but for anxious college seniors like Bao Ha, it’s a different reality altogether.

“I’ve probably applied to like 130 or 40 jobs or something,” Ha says. “I have not gotten even an email back, or an interview.”

College graduate Erica Schoenberg is in the same boat.

She hasn’t been able to find a full-time job after a year of searching, and so she is still living with her parents

Erica Schoenberg would know.

She was a member of the class of 2020, which had the misfortune of graduating in the brunt of the pandemic.

A year after Schoenberg watched her virtual graduation ceremony from Trinity University from her living room couch, she’s back at her parents’ home because she can’t find a full-time job.

During this pandemic, the percentage of Americans that are living with their parents reached the highest level since the Great Depression of the 1930s.

That is crazy.

But there is some good news.

The good news is that we are in a temporary pocket of time in which economic conditions have stabilized.  Things are certainly a lot worse than they were before the pandemic, but at least we are not seeing the same sort of rapid deterioration that we did throughout much of 2020.

Of course this temporary pocket of time will not last, and that is the bad news.

If anyone out there believes that Joe Biden is going to save the U.S. economy, they are just being delusional.

The stimulus money that Americans are being showered with right now will help in the short-term, but all of the borrowing and spending that our government is doing will just make our long-term problems even worse.

We should be thankful for the relative stability that we are currently enjoying, but this is not a time to party.

Instead, we should be using this time to prepare for the troubled times that are ahead, because the truth is that our long economic nightmare is just beginning.

***Michael’s new book entitled “Lost Prophecies Of The Future Of America” is now available in paperback and for the Kindle on Amazon.***

About the Author: My name is Michael Snyder and my brand new book entitled “Lost Prophecies Of The Future Of America” is now available on Amazon.com.  In addition to my new book, I have written four others that are available on Amazon.com including The Beginning Of The EndGet Prepared Now, and Living A Life That Really Matters. (#CommissionsEarned)  By purchasing the books you help to support the work that my wife and I are doing, and by giving it to others you help to multiply the impact that we are having on people all over the globe.  I have published thousands of articles on The Economic Collapse BlogEnd Of The American Dream and The Most Important News, and the articles that I publish on those sites are republished on dozens of other prominent websites all over the globe.  I always freely and happily allow others to republish my articles on their own websites, but I also ask that they include this “About the Author” section with each article.  The material contained in this article is for general information purposes only, and readers should consult licensed professionals before making any legal, business, financial or health decisions.  I encourage you to follow me on social media on FacebookTwitter and Parler, and any way that you can share these articles with others is a great help.  During these very challenging times, people will need hope more than ever before, and it is our goal to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with as many people as we possibly can.

America’s Upside Down Economy Just Took Another Bizarre Turn

Is this a good economy or a bad economy?  Well, that all depends on who you are talking to.  For most Americans, economic conditions have been absolutely horrible ever since the COVID pandemic first arrived.  More than 100,000 businesses have permanently shut down, approximately 10 million Americans are in danger of being evicted from their homes, and weekly unemployment claims have been above the old record set in the early 1980s every single week for nearly an entire year.  Meanwhile, the absolutely insane polices that the Federal Reserve and our politicians in Washington have been pursuing have made the wealthy far wealthier than ever before.  In early 2020, M1 was sitting at about 4 trillion dollars, and now it is up to 18 trillion dollars.  Much of that money has ended up in the pockets of the ultra-wealthy, and now they are spending it is some pretty odd ways.

For example, NFT art is one of the latest crazes.  You can’t hang NFT art on your wall, but that isn’t stopping people from paying ridiculous amounts of money for it.  In fact, things have gotten so crazy that one film director has decided to sell audio clips of himself farting as NFTs…

A Brooklyn-based film director is simultaneously mocking and attempting to profit off the cryptocurrency craze for non-fungible tokens (NFTs) by selling a year’s worth of fart audio clips recorded in quarantine.

“If people are selling digital art and GIFs, why not sell farts?” Alex Ramírez-Mallis, 36, told The Post of his dank addition to the blockchain-based NFT market.

You would have to be absolutely nuts to purchase such a thing, but apparently someone has already purchased one clip for 85 dollars

Individual fart recordings are also available for 0.05 Ethereum, or about $85 a pop. The gassy group has so far sold one, to an anonymous buyer.

“If the value increases, they could have an extremely valuable fart on their hands,” he said.

Pizza Hut has decided that they want to get in on the NFT craze as well.

In Canada, the company originally listen an NFT of a pizza slice for 18 cents, but it ended up selling for $8,824

Pizza Hut Canada has announced it is releasing “1 Byte Favourites,” aka digital images of pizza, as non-fungible tokens. “Pizza Hut believes no world should exist without pizza, especially their pan pizza. That’s why they wanted to make sure it was enshrined in the digital universe,” they said in a release. Each week the company will release a new image of a pizza slice, each of a different recipe, for purchase on Rarible. The first-ever “slice” was listed for $0.0001 ETH (a cryptocurrency the equivalent of 18 cents), but wound up being sold for $8,824.

This is madness, and it is also a grave insult to all of those that are deeply suffering out there.

Could it be possible that we are rapidly approaching our own “let them eat cake” moment?

As the ultra-wealthy continue to throw their money around in absurd ways, most people are just struggling to get by from month to month.  On Thursday, we learned that another 770,000 Americans filed new claims for unemployment benefits last week…

Figures released Thursday by the Labor Department show that 770,000 Americans filed first-time jobless claims in the week ended March 13, higher than the 700,000 forecast by Refinitiv economists.

Weekly jobless claims have remained stubbornly high for months, hovering around four times the typical pre-crisis level, although it’s well below the peak of almost 7 million that was reached when stay-at-home orders were first issued a year ago in March.

After all this time, the number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits each week is still about four times higher than pre-pandemic levels.

And we just learned that retail sales fell pretty dramatically during the month of February

Americans shopped less in February, leading retail sales to fall 3% on a seasonally adjusted basis, the Census Bureau reported Tuesday.

It was a much steeper drop than the 0.5% decline economists had predicted, according to Refinitiv.

Bad weather across many states were part of the reason sales declined last month.

When things go badly, they love to blame the weather.

Of course the new stimulus checks that Americans are now receiving should help to boost retail sales temporarily.

But at this point there are no plans to cut checks every month, and any short-term assistance will only briefly alleviate the long-term suffering that so many Americans are enduring.

We are currently in the midst of the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression of the 1930s, and a lot more pain is on the horizon.

Even though I write about this stuff on a daily basis, I was surprised to learn that the results of a recent survey show that finances have now become the number one source of stress for the American people…

WalletHub’s new Coronavirus Money Survey also reveals that the nation’s focus is now shifting from the virus to finances. The survey of over 750 Americans in March 2021 finds money is now the biggest stressor around the country.

Three in 10 respondents say money is their greatest concern this year, a 15-percent increase over last year. COVID-19 is still the top stressor for 28 percent of Americans. As coronavirus safety measures fade however, researchers find people are getting back to worrying about how to make ends meet.

If you don’t know how you are going to pay the bills this month, that can be a source of stress that never leaves you day or night.

Those that have gone through this sort of emotional torment know exactly what I am talking about.

So when the ultra-wealthy throw their money away on “farting art” or “Pizza Hut art”, that is like rubbing dirt in the faces of tens of millions of Americans that are desperately trying to figure out some way to survive from month to month.

The ultra-wealthy can continue to flaunt their wealth, but already we are seeing the rise of the “Robinhood mentality” that so many have warned about.

When things get bad enough, the poor will start venturing into rich neighborhoods, and they won’t be there for a social visit.

We still have relative stability for this brief moment, but it won’t last very long at all.

***Michael’s new book entitled “Lost Prophecies Of The Future Of America” is now available in paperback and for the Kindle on Amazon.***

About the Author: My name is Michael Snyder and my brand new book entitled “Lost Prophecies Of The Future Of America” is now available on Amazon.com.  In addition to my new book, I have written four others that are available on Amazon.com including The Beginning Of The EndGet Prepared Now, and Living A Life That Really Matters. (#CommissionsEarned)  By purchasing the books you help to support the work that my wife and I are doing, and by giving it to others you help to multiply the impact that we are having on people all over the globe.  I have published thousands of articles on The Economic Collapse BlogEnd Of The American Dream and The Most Important News, and the articles that I publish on those sites are republished on dozens of other prominent websites all over the globe.  I always freely and happily allow others to republish my articles on their own websites, but I also ask that they include this “About the Author” section with each article.  The material contained in this article is for general information purposes only, and readers should consult licensed professionals before making any legal, business, financial or health decisions.  I encourage you to follow me on social media on FacebookTwitter and Parler, and any way that you can share these articles with others is a great help.  During these very challenging times, people will need hope more than ever before, and it is our goal to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with as many people as we possibly can.

Eviction Moratorium Ruled Unconstitutional, Largest Tsunami Of Evictions In U.S. History Incoming…

Ever since last summer, a federal moratorium on evictions has prevented landlords from evicting millions of tenants that are behind on their rent payments.  This moratorium has caused extreme financial distress for many landlords, but it has also kept us from witnessing millions upon millions of Americans being thrown out into the cold streets.  Of course this moratorium on evictions was never actually legal, and it was just a matter of time before it was challenged in front of a federal judge that still had respect for the U.S. Constitution.  On Thursday, a federal judge in the Eastern District of Texas named John Campbell Barker ruled that the federal moratorium is completely unconstitutional

J. Campbell Barker, a Trump-nominated judge in the Eastern District of Texas, issued the 21-page ruling Thursday in response to a lawsuit from a group of landlords and property managers.

“The federal government cannot say that it has ever before invoked its power over interstate commerce to impose a residential eviction moratorium,” Barker wrote, noting that it did not do so during the Spanish Flu pandemic or during the Great Depression. “The federal government has not claimed such a power at any point during our nation’s history until last year.”

But Barker did not issue any sort of an injunction, and so the moratorium is still in effect for the moment.  In his ruling, Barker expressed his belief that the defendants will “respect the declaratory judgment” and will willingly withdraw the moratorium on their own…

The scope of the order is unclear. Barker wrote that given “defendants’ representations to the court, it is ‘anticipated that [defendants] would respect the declaratory judgment.’”

Federal officials could attempt to drag their feet, but the current moratorium is set to expire on March 31st anyway.

So whether it happens immediately or in a few weeks, the federal moratorium on evictions is ending.

Of course some states have their own moratoriums in place, and Barker noted that those are constitutional.  So renters in those states will still have at least some protection moving forward.

But for most of the country, things are about to change in a major way.

According to one recent study, a whopping 10 million U.S. households are currently behind on their rent payments

An analysis released last month by Moody’s Analytics and the Urban Institute said that some 10 million renters are behind on paying rent and risk being evicted. Moreover, the typical delinquent renter is almost four months and $5,600 behind on monthly rent and utility payments as of January, according to the analysis.

“To put that into some perspective, approximately seven million households lost their homes in foreclosure during the five darkest years of the global financial crisis,” the researchers wrote. “Here we have 10 million families facing a similar fate over a matter of months.”

Even if rent moratoriums remain in place in some states for the foreseeable future, we are still going to see millions upon millions of households evicted here in 2021.

It will be the largest tsunami of evictions in U.S. history, and homelessness is going to rise dramatically.

Needless to say, it isn’t going to be a happy time.

Meanwhile, we have already been witnessing a tsunami of bankruptcies.

In fact, the number of Chapter 11 bankruptcy filings in 2020 was “at least 30 percent higher than any of the previous four years”

Bankruptcies filed by entertainment companies in 2020 nearly quadrupled, and filings nearly tripled for oil and gas companies, doubled for computer and software companies and were up 50 percent or more for restaurant owners, real estate companies and retailers, compared with 2019, data from the research firm show. There were 5,236 Chapter 11 filings in 2019, but 6,917 last year, a tally at least 30 percent higher than any of the previous four years.

This isn’t what an “economic recovery” looks like.

Sadly, the truth of the matter is that the U.S. economy is in the process of melting down all around us, and a whole lot more pain is ahead.

Up until just recently, the stock market had been one of the very few bright spots, but now chaos has returned to Wall Street.

On Friday, the Dow was down another 469 points

The Dow Jones Industrial Average swung wildly Friday to close near its session low as Wall Street struggled to shake off fears of rapidly rising rates.

The blue-chip benchmark ended the volatile session 469.64 points, or 1.5%, to 30,932.37 after trading in the green earlier. The S&P 500 fell 0.5% to 3,811.15 as energy and financial stocks pulled back. The Nasdaq Composite ended the day 0.6% higher at 13,192.34 as Big Tech names rebounded after a large sell-off in the previous session amid surging bond yields. Facebook, Microsoft and Amazon each rose more than 1%. The tech-heavy benchmark gyrated in Friday’s session where it jumped 1.9% at its high and fell as much as 0.7%.

As I discussed yesterday, I do not believe that a massive stock market crash is imminent.  But the early warning signs that we are witnessing now should definitely not be ignored.

Many are expecting economic conditions in the U.S. to improve as the COVID pandemic fades, but it is inevitable that many more “trigger events” will hit us in 2021 and beyond.

Considering how vulnerable we are right now, it certainly isn’t going to take much to send us into a death spiral from which we will never recover.

Unfortunately, it is always those at the very bottom of the economic food chain that get hit the hardest when challenging times arrive.

I feel very badly for the landlords that haven’t been able to collect rent for months and months, but I also feel very badly for the millions of Americans that will soon be thrown out into the streets.

The economic pain and suffering that we will soon see will be off the charts, and those that are expecting Joe Biden and his minions to save them will be bitterly, bitterly disappointed.

***Michael’s new book entitled “Lost Prophecies Of The Future Of America” is now available in paperback and for the Kindle on Amazon.***

About the Author: My name is Michael Snyder and my brand new book entitled “Lost Prophecies Of The Future Of America” is now available on Amazon.com.  In addition to my new book, I have written four others that are available on Amazon.com including The Beginning Of The EndGet Prepared Now, and Living A Life That Really Matters. (#CommissionsEarned)  By purchasing the books you help to support the work that my wife and I are doing, and by giving it to others you help to multiply the impact that we are having on people all over the globe.  I have published thousands of articles on The Economic Collapse BlogEnd Of The American Dream and The Most Important News, and the articles that I publish on those sites are republished on dozens of other prominent websites all over the globe.  I always freely and happily allow others to republish my articles on their own websites, but I also ask that they include this “About the Author” section with each article.  The material contained in this article is for general information purposes only, and readers should consult licensed professionals before making any legal, business, financial or health decisions.  I encourage you to follow me on social media on FacebookTwitter and Parler, and any way that you can share these articles with others is a great help.  During these very challenging times, people will need hope more than ever before, and it is our goal to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with as many people as we possibly can.

Chicago Has Become A Rotting, Decaying, Crime-Ridden Hellhole – And The Rest Of America Will Soon Follow

I don’t know why anyone would want to live in Chicago at this point.  According to the latest estimate that I could find, “over 117,000 gang members” currently live in the city, and there is so much violence that it regularly makes headlines all over the globe.  Some of the wealthy areas of Chicago still look nice, but many communities have been transformed into something straight out of a war zone.  Large churches, hospitals and factories that were once so beautiful are now rotting and decaying all over the city, and a vibrant open air drug market scares customers away from local businesses.  Sadly, the truth is that the entire country is going down the exact same path that Chicago has gone.

Coming into last year, Chicago was known as one of the murder capitals of the world, but nobody expected the murder rate to spike “by more than 50% in 2020”

Chicago police also released the final crime number for 2020 Friday which showed that shootings and murders jumped up by more than 50% in 2020.

In 2020, there were 769 murders, up considerably compared to the 495 murders tallied in 2019.

As for shootings, the city logged 3,261 last year, a big jump from 2,140 shootings in 2019. The number of shooting victims climbed to 4,033 in 2020, up from 2,598 in 2019.

But even though last year was so horrific, some officials are expressing optimism about the future.

For example, Dr. Faran Bokhari believes that the COVID vaccine is going to make a tremendous difference

“I think our savior is going to be the COVID vaccination,” Dr. Faran Bokhari, Chief of Trauma at Cook County Hospital. “I think people are so tired of being indoors and not being able to do what they usually do.”

Yes, gang members and drug addicts will feel so much better about life and will become a lot less violent once they are vaccinated and can get out into the streets a lot more.

Good luck with all that.

State Representative Marcus Evans has a different strategy in mind.  He believes that banning “Grand Theft Auto” will solve this crisis

It’s no secret that crime is out of control in Illinois and one lawmaker has a solution. In response to an increase in carjackings in Chicago, State Representative Marcus Evans Jr. wants a law passed making it illegal for retailers to sell violent video games to minors. “Grand Theft Auto” is not mentioned in the bill but Evans pointed to that specific game during a press conference on Monday.

Meanwhile, people continue to flee the city of Chicago and the state of Illinois at a staggering pace.

In fact, the exodus that we witnessed in 2020 is being described as “historic”

Illinois recorded a seventh straight year of population loss from July 2019 to July 2020, but the year’s drop was historic – 79,487 residents, the most since World War II and the second largest of any state in raw numbers or percentage of population. Larger declines year over year have also caused Illinois to suffer the largest raw decline in population, and second largest on a percentage basis since 2010, shedding 253,015 people – triple any other state’s losses.

I can understand why so many residents are leaving for greener pastures, but other major cities are also seeing dramatic spikes in crime too.

One study that was recently released found that murder rates in 34 major U.S. cities rose by an average of 30 percent last year

THE HOMICIDE RATE across 34 American cities increased by 30% on average during 2020, according to experts, as the U.S. reeled from the coronavirus pandemic and widespread protests against police brutality.

The newly released report from the National Commission on COVID-19 and Criminal Justice found that homicides rose in 29 of the 34 cities studied and that the three largest cities in the sample – New York, Los Angeles and Chicago – accounted for 40% of the additional homicide victims in 2020.

At this point, nearly all of our big cities are becoming unsafe.

If you want to avoid all of the violence, you could try moving to a small town, but that might not work either.

For example, the small town of Chickasha, Oklahoma sounds like it would be a nice place to live, but look at what just happened there

A repeat felon has confessed to killing his neighbor, cutting out her heart and feeding it to his family before murdering his uncle and a four-year-old girl, Oklahoma authorities say.

Lawrence Paul Anderson, 42, allegedly stabbed the neighbor, Andrea Lynn Blankenship, to death at her home in Chickasha on February 9.

Unfortunately, the truth is that our entire society is in the process of melting down all around us, and this process is only going to accelerate during the very difficult years ahead.

The worse economic conditions become, the more desperate people are going to get, and right now more businesses are shutting down with each passing day.

For instance, we just learned that Fry’s Electronics will be permanently shutting down all of their stores

Consumer electronics retailer Fry’s Electronics is going out of business after nearly 36 years.

Fry’s “has made the difficult decision to shut down its operations and close its business permanently as a result of changes in the retail industry and the challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic,” the company said in a statement on its website. The company said it has begun the “wind-down” process as of Wednesday and has stopped its normal operations.

As I have discussed in numerous recent articles, poverty is exploding all over America and this economic downturn is hitting those at the bottom of the economic food chain particularly hard.

As this economic crisis grows, those at the bottom of the economic food chain will increasingly be venturing into wealthy neighborhoods to take our their frustrations.

Those with a “Robin Hood mentality” will try to claim that there is “justice” in taking from the rich and giving to the poor, but in reality it will just be a way to justify the rampant lawlessness in our streets.

The rioting, looting and violence that we have seen so far is just the beginning.

Much worse is coming, and it won’t be too long before the entire country looks like the streets in the worst parts of Chicago.

***Michael’s new book entitled “Lost Prophecies Of The Future Of America” is now available in paperback and for the Kindle on Amazon.***

About the Author: My name is Michael Snyder and my brand new book entitled “Lost Prophecies Of The Future Of America” is now available on Amazon.com.  In addition to my new book, I have written four others that are available on Amazon.com including The Beginning Of The EndGet Prepared Now, and Living A Life That Really Matters. (#CommissionsEarned)  By purchasing the books you help to support the work that my wife and I are doing, and by giving it to others you help to multiply the impact that we are having on people all over the globe.  I have published thousands of articles on The Economic Collapse BlogEnd Of The American Dream and The Most Important News, and the articles that I publish on those sites are republished on dozens of other prominent websites all over the globe.  I always freely and happily allow others to republish my articles on their own websites, but I also ask that they include this “About the Author” section with each article.  The material contained in this article is for general information purposes only, and readers should consult licensed professionals before making any legal, business, financial or health decisions.  I encourage you to follow me on social media on FacebookTwitter and Parler, and any way that you can share these articles with others is a great help.  During these very challenging times, people will need hope more than ever before, and it is our goal to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with as many people as we possibly can.

How To Live Your Best Life In America In 2021 (In A Van Down By The River)

One of the hottest new trends in the U.S. is to get rid of your house and live in a van.  Of course many people have had “van life” forced upon them by current economic conditions, but for an increasing number of Americans “van life” has become a choice.  Personally, I am old enough to remember when “living in a van” was a running joke in this country.  But now we are being told that it is “cool” to live like a hobo.  In fact, USA Today insists that life in a van “is particularly well suited” for the COVID pandemic because it allows for much easier social distancing…

But for those who can afford it, #vanlife is particularly well suited for this crisis because it’s socially distanced, can be done on a budget and fosters outdoor activities, which are safer during the outbreak than indoor environments where air doesn’t circulate well.

When you smell like a skunk after not showering for a week, it is true that not too many people will want to get near you, and so I would agree that living in a van will help with social distancing.

Since the start of the pandemic, van sales have risen dramatically, and this has happened even though overall sales for the auto industry are way down

Mercedes, whose Sprinter van is the vehicle of choice for many #vanlife followers, appears to be the biggest winner. Mercedes-Benz U.S. van sales soared 22.5% in 2020 to 274,916, even as the brand’s overall sales fell 8.9%.

“Everybody’s trying to get their hands on a van,” says Stefanie Doemel, who manages upfit solutions for vans at Mercedes-Benz USA.

Of course most of those that choose to embrace “van life” cannot afford a Mercedes.

If you are fortunate enough to encounter someone living the “van lifestyle”, it is more likely that they will own a junky old Chevy van that has had the interior ripped to shreds over the years.

But the good news for van residents is that they never have to stay in one place and there is always something new to see.

USA Today interviewed one “van life” advocate named Abby Rodriguez who says that when her work for the day is done she can just “go refresh in nature”

“You feel more relieved from some of the mental stress that others are going through by being trapped in one place,” Abby says. “We have wheels so we can change up our scenery, and after the workday, I can go refresh in nature.”

That is all well and good, but I just hope that she brings a shovel with her when she “refreshes”, because it isn’t polite to leave your droppings right out in the open.

In a companion article, USA Today shared five key tips for those that are considering making the switch to “van life”…

1. Consider buying a used van
2. Budget for upgrades and teach yourself how to do them
3. Stay at public campgrounds or national parks
4. Make sure you’ve got a bathroom solution
5. Plan for fixed and unexpected expenses

Personally, there are two more things that I would add to the list.

Number one, make sure that you are able to secure a good spot down by the river.

Number two, you may want to consider supplementing your income with some public speaking gigs.

As the U.S. economy continues to rapidly deteriorate right in front of our eyes, another one of the hottest new trends is to dig around for discarded food in dumpsters behind large supermarkets.

The trendies like to call it “dumpster diving”, and it has become particularly popular with impoverished Millennials living in core urban areas.

In fact, it has become so popular that some supermarkets are now calling out the police to guard their dumpsters.  For example, approximately a dozen police officers were guarding the dumpsters behind a Fred Meyer in Portland on Tuesday

Roughly a dozen Portland police officers faced off with a small group at a Northeast Portland Fred Meyer on Tuesday after people tried to take food that had been thrown away.

Workers at the Hollywood West Fred Meyer threw away thousands of perishable items because the store, like many others, had lost power in an outage brought on by the region’s winter storm.

We are being told that a riot almost ensued, but of course riots happen at the drop of a hat in Portland these days.

For a while the police were successful in keeping the hungry people away from the dumpsters, but eventually the police got tired and went home.

When the coast was finally clear, hungry Millennials descended upon the dumpsters like a pack of ravenous wolves

Simonis said police eventually left and those waiting to get food made their way over to the dumpsters. As of 6:30 p.m., about two dozen people were at the dumpsters, taking a few items each.

Simonis noted that all the food was still in good condition, given the cold weather. One person picked up a carton of juice with an expiration date in March.

This is America in 2021.  Poverty is growing with each passing day, and people are becoming increasingly desperate.

And if things are this bad already, how bad is the desperation going to become once our economy finally plunges into freefall mode?

On Wednesday, millions of Americans were deeply saddened to hear that Rush Limbaugh had passed away.  He will be deeply missed, and nobody will ever be able to fill his shoes.

One of the things that always stood out to me when I listened to Rush was how much he truly loved the United States.  He was zealously patriotic, and he truly embodied the ideals that our founders held so dear when they originally established this nation.

So as sad as it was to see him go, I am also glad that he is not going to have to see the nightmarish chapters that are ahead for this country.

Recent political events were already weighing very heavily on him, and to watch the U.S. completely fall to pieces would have absolutely broken his heart.

If we had made much different choices, America could have been on a much different path today.

But instead we continue to steamroll toward oblivion, and many Americans will be doing so inside a clunky old van.

***Michael’s new book entitled “Lost Prophecies Of The Future Of America” is now available in paperback and for the Kindle on Amazon.***

About the Author: My name is Michael Snyder and my brand new book entitled “Lost Prophecies Of The Future Of America” is now available on Amazon.com.  In addition to my new book, I have written four others that are available on Amazon.com including The Beginning Of The EndGet Prepared Now, and Living A Life That Really Matters. (#CommissionsEarned)  By purchasing the books you help to support the work that my wife and I are doing, and by giving it to others you help to multiply the impact that we are having on people all over the globe.  I have published thousands of articles on The Economic Collapse BlogEnd Of The American Dream and The Most Important News, and the articles that I publish on those sites are republished on dozens of other prominent websites all over the globe.  I always freely and happily allow others to republish my articles on their own websites, but I also ask that they include this “About the Author” section with each article.  The material contained in this article is for general information purposes only, and readers should consult licensed professionals before making any legal, business, financial or health decisions.  I encourage you to follow me on social media on FacebookTwitter and Parler, and any way that you can share these articles with others is a great help.  During these very challenging times, people will need hope more than ever before, and it is our goal to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with as many people as we possibly can.

The Economic Crisis Caused By This Pandemic Has Dramatically Altered How Americans Are Living Their Lives

This seemingly endless COVID pandemic is causing immense stress for millions of ordinary Americans.  In past articles, I have discussed the fact that surveys have shown that Americans are drinking more alcohol and taking more drugs during this pandemic.  Even more alarming, we have seen suicide rates spike over the past 12 months as well.  Sadly, this isn’t just happening here in the United States.  All over the globe, more people are ending their own lives during this pandemic.  But of course most people aren’t going to go that far.  Instead, most people are just going to quietly struggle along, but in the process many of them are making huge changes to their lifestyles.

For example, this pandemic appears to be greatly affecting both marriage and divorce rates.  Here are just a couple of examples

In Oregon, divorces in the pandemic months of March through December were down about 24% from those months in 2019; marriages were down 16%. In Florida, for the same months, divorces were down 20% and marriages were down 27%.

I can understand why so many Americans are putting off marriage right now.  A wedding can be extremely expensive, and many Americans may be hesitant to permanently tie the knot with so much economic uncertainty in our future.

But why are divorce rates down by so much?

That is a very good question.  Limited access to courts during the lockdowns was certainly one factor, and many Americans are also concerned about what a divorce would mean for them financially

One reason for fewer divorces: In many states, access to courts for civil cases was severely curtailed during the pandemic’s early stages. Another reason, according to marriage counselors, is that many couples backed off from a possibly imminent divorce for fear it would only worsen pandemic-fueled financial insecurity.

Meanwhile, this pandemic has also caused more Americans than ever to put off having children.

In fact, birth rates are way down all over the country

According to a Bloomberg analysis, births decreased by 19 percent in California between December 2019 and December 2020. Data from Florida, Hawaii, Arizona, and Ohio show large declines in birth rates since the pandemic started compared to the previous year’s data, too. A survey conducted by Modern Fertility, a company that sells fertility tests directly to consumers, found that 30 percent of nearly 4,000 people surveyed stated they changed their fertility plans due to COVID-19. One in four of those respondents said they’ve become unsure about having children at all; the most commonly cited reason was uncertainty about the world.

At the beginning of this pandemic, some had suggested that we may see a “baby boom”, but it appears that we are experiencing a “baby bust” instead.

The rising cost of living is causing a tremendous amount of stress for ordinary Americans as well.

Thanks to the crazy spending that Congress has been doing and the reckless money printing that the Federal Reserve has been engaged in, the money supply is skyrocketing and prices are aggressively rising all over the country.

Just look at what has been happening to natural gas prices.  The recent cold snap has created a dramatic spike in demand, and this has pushed natural gas prices to unprecedented levels.  The following comes from Zero Hedge

… we hit the proverbial offerless market where any natgas that was available would be purchased at virtually any price, which is why midcontinent prices such as the Oneok OGT nat gas spot exploded from $3.46 one week ago, to $9 on Wednesday, $60.28 on Thursday and an insane $377.13 on Friday, up 32,000% in a few days. This is one of those places where having a limit up circuit breaker could actually be useful, even though there simply is nowhere near enough product to satisfy demand at any price hence the explosive move.

Hubs across the Midcontinent led the surge in prices again Feb. 12 as weather forecasts predicted the coldest temperatures in more than a decade would hit the region over the upcoming holiday weekend. Platts reported that at locations across Kansas, Oklahoma and Eastern Arkansas, hub prices were trading at single-day record highs around $200 to $300/MMBtu. Regional hubs, which typically service only limited local demand, saw fierce competition among shippers, utilities and end-users looking to meet weekend requirements.

This is a reminder of what can happen when things get crazy.

If a short-term cold spell can cause this much chaos, what would happen during a long-term national emergency?

That is something to think about.

Other Americans don’t need to worry about heating their homes, because this pandemic has forced them to live in their vehicles

Americans are being driven into their vehicles by pandemic-fueled woes. And their ranks are likely to grow as the government safety net frays and evictions and foreclosures rise.

“It’s in times of crisis that the fragility of our systems are laid bare,” said Graham Pruss, a postdoctoral scholar with the Benioff Homelessness and Housing Initiative at the UC San Francisco Center for Vulnerable Populations.

Particularly on the west coast, government officials have been setting up huge parking lots where those that live in their vehicles can sleep safely at night.

Many of those that are now sleeping in their vehicles were once living comfortable middle class lifestyles, but now this crisis has changed everything.  Nicholas Atencio and Heather Surovik are two examples

For months, Nicholas Atencio and girlfriend Heather Surovik spent nearly every minute of their lives together in a 2000 Cadillac Escalade.

After Atencio, 33, lost his job as a plumber in May, he and Surovik, 36, delivered for Grubhub by day and at night curled up with their puppy on an air bed in the back of their car parked in a lot in Longmont, Colorado, dreaming of being reunited under one roof with Surovik’s teenage son who was living with his grandmother.

Have you ever spent a night in a vehicle?

If you have, then you already know that it isn’t pleasant.

Unfortunately, once eviction moratoriums are finally lifted all over the country we are going to see the largest tsunami of evictions in American history.

So that means that a lot more people are going to end up sleeping in their vehicles.

These are very troubled times, and they are about to get even more troubled…

***Michael’s new book entitled “Lost Prophecies Of The Future Of America” is now available in paperback and for the Kindle on Amazon.***

About the Author: My name is Michael Snyder and my brand new book entitled “Lost Prophecies Of The Future Of America” is now available on Amazon.com.  In addition to my new book, I have written four others that are available on Amazon.com including The Beginning Of The EndGet Prepared Now, and Living A Life That Really Matters. (#CommissionsEarned)  By purchasing the books you help to support the work that my wife and I are doing, and by giving it to others you help to multiply the impact that we are having on people all over the globe.  I have published thousands of articles on The Economic Collapse BlogEnd Of The American Dream and The Most Important News, and the articles that I publish on those sites are republished on dozens of other prominent websites all over the globe.  I always freely and happily allow others to republish my articles on their own websites, but I also ask that they include this “About the Author” section with each article.  The material contained in this article is for general information purposes only, and readers should consult licensed professionals before making any legal, business, financial or health decisions.  I encourage you to follow me on social media on FacebookTwitter and Parler, and any way that you can share these articles with others is a great help.  During these very challenging times, people will need hope more than ever before, and it is our goal to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with as many people as we possibly can.

Severe Economic Suffering Is Taking A Very Heavy Toll On Millions Of American Families

Have you ever been at such a low point in your life that it seems like there is no hope of ever turning things around no matter how hard you try?  Right now, there are millions upon millions of Americans that have been emotionally crushed by this economic downturn, and many of them have completely lost all hope.  Those around them may be telling them to “hang in there”, but month after month goes by and nothing ever seems to get better.

For a moment, I would like for you to consider a scenario.  Imagine that you own a successful small restaurant somewhere in the country.  Despite the odds, the restaurant has been successful enough over the years for you to make a living, but now during the COVID pandemic it has been bleeding red ink for months.  You keep putting more of your own money into it to keep it alive, but now your own bank account is running dangerously low.  The office job that your wife had was always a steady source of income for the family, but she lost that job shortly after the pandemic began.  Unless your wife can find a comparable job very quickly, you won’t be able to pay the mortgage in a couple of months.  Meanwhile, the drug company that produces the medicine that your son depends upon to survive just raised prices for the third year in a row and your family doctor just told you that your daughter desperately needs surgery.  At the same time, your hot water heater needs to be replaced and something is wrong with your vehicle but you are afraid to take it to the mechanic because of how much it might cost.

Does any of that sound familiar?

Yesterday, I discussed the fact that 8 million more Americans have fallen into poverty during this economic crisis.  With each passing day, the middle class is getting even smaller, and a recent Pew Research Center survey found that approximately one-fourth of the entire country has “had trouble paying their bills” during this pandemic

A new Pew Research Center survey finds that, overall, one-in-four adults have had trouble paying their bills since the coronavirus outbreak started, a third have dipped into savings or retirement accounts to make ends meet, and about one-in-six have borrowed money from friends or family or gotten food from a food bank.

When you know that there isn’t going to be enough money to pay the bills this month, that can cause an extraordinary amount of mental stress.

If that has ever happened to you, then you know exactly what I am talking about.

Sadly, financial anxiety is one of the biggest reasons why so many Americans are suffering from mental health issues right now…

If you’re stressed out, anxious or feeling lonely, you are not alone.

Nearly half of American workers have been suffering from mental health issues since the Covid-19 pandemic began, at a significant cost to their well-being and potentially to their employer’s bottom line.

It shocked me to read that close to half the country is willing to admit that they are dealing with mental health issues during this crisis.

If we are struggling this much now, what will happen when things start getting really, really bad?

Many Americans never expected to be facing such severe economic pain in 2021.  Just recently, Joe Biden rescinded an executive order that had been signed by President Trump which had significantly lowered the cost of insulin for low income Americans.  When a 24-year-old college graduate found out how much he was going to have to pay for insulin from now on, he started freaking out

“Hi everybody, so I’m just having a little freakout in my car, because I just found out my ******* diabetic supplies, like my insulin and my pump supplies that I need to live are costing $2,000 a month,” said the man, who appears to have Type 1 diabetes.

“I am 24, I only just got out of college before COVID hit and I’m not making any good money. How am I supposed to pay $2,000 for something that I didn’t do anything to get?”

So how would you answer that question?

Would you just tell him to go get a better job?

I don’t know anything about his life situation, but he appears to believe that he is totally out of options.

In fact, he has come to the conclusion that he “can’t afford to live” and that his only remaining option is to give up and die

“America is ******* bullshit, like I can’t afford to live,” the man shouted, gripped with emotion. “I have to pay for something that I did not at all, at all do anything to get. So I guess I’ll just ******* die.”

According to the CDC, more than 34 million Americans have diabetes.

Are they all supposed to “just die”?

Poverty is growing all around us, and we need to have deep compassion for those that are greatly suffering during this crisis.

Earlier today, I came across a list of things that Reddit users say they have personally done to get through hard times.  Here are a few examples from the list

-“Never fill up the gas tank all the way. You don’t want to be in a situation where you have gas in your car but no groceries.”

-“If you use the oven during winter, when you’re done, leave it cracked so that the heat warms up the rest of the house more.”

-“Going to the doctor isn’t an option until your fever is sustained at 104, a bone is broken, or the tooth rotted and won’t fall out on its own.”

-“Not eating lunch because you either ‘just ate breakfast’ or ‘dinner’s only a few hours away.'”

-“Add water to shampoo to get it to last longer.”

-“If your shoes don’t require duct tape, you don’t need new shoes.”

-“Not being able to wash your clothes until you could do a full, and I mean FULL machine. Getting a stain on a fresh shirt meant scrubbing it with soap over the sink.”

From now on, each one of us needs to start living like every single dollar really matters.

You may think that you are doing okay now, but a job loss, a major car repair or a medical emergency could literally strike at any time.

In this economic environment, most Americans are living paycheck to paycheck, and that means that most of the country is literally just a step or two away from financial disaster.

***Michael’s new book entitled “Lost Prophecies Of The Future Of America” is now available in paperback and for the Kindle on Amazon.***

About the Author: My name is Michael Snyder and my brand new book entitled “Lost Prophecies Of The Future Of America” is now available on Amazon.com.  In addition to my new book, I have written four others that are available on Amazon.com including The Beginning Of The EndGet Prepared Now, and Living A Life That Really Matters. (#CommissionsEarned)  By purchasing the books you help to support the work that my wife and I are doing, and by giving it to others you help to multiply the impact that we are having on people all over the globe.  I have published thousands of articles on The Economic Collapse BlogEnd Of The American Dream and The Most Important News, and the articles that I publish on those sites are republished on dozens of other prominent websites all over the globe.  I always freely and happily allow others to republish my articles on their own websites, but I also ask that they include this “About the Author” section with each article.  The material contained in this article is for general information purposes only, and readers should consult licensed professionals before making any legal, business, financial or health decisions.  I encourage you to follow me on social media on FacebookTwitter and Parler, and any way that you can share these articles with others is a great help.  During these very challenging times, people will need hope more than ever before, and it is our goal to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with as many people as we possibly can.